Thursday, February 17, 2011


40 Odd Years into an exceptionally prolific and storied career, Loudon Wainwright III is being celebrated with an aptly named career-spanning 4-CD/1-DVD box set, including a 40-page book, with an essay by renowned journalist/author David Wild and an introduction by filmmaker and box set co-producer Judd Apatow, to be released by Shout! Factory on May 3, 2011.


The first 200 to pre-order from will receive an exclusive booklet signed by Loudon Wainwright III himself


40 Odd Years features songs from throughout Wainwright's career, including works of brilliance such as "The Man Who Couldn't Cry" from 1973's Attempted Mustache, which Johnny Cash would record with producer Rick Rubin decades later, to the genuinely odd "Dead Skunk," which became a #16 pop hit and thus a true novelty in the Wainwright canon, to highlights from his most recent projects, including cuts from the Grammy®-winning album High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project. The 3+ hour DVD includes an extremely rare documentary made for Dutch television entitled One Man Guy, TV appearances on the BBC, Saturday Night Live, and Austin City Limits, as well as several unreleased concert performances.


Famed comedy powerhouse Judd Apatow, who co-produced the set with Wainwright, and who credits the artist as a great influence on his own career, writes in his introduction "I wanted to do what he has always done: to be brutally honest, emotional, hilarious and sweet all at the same time. Whenever I wonder what my tone might be, if I am confused, I just listen to a Loudon Wainwright song."


In his essay, David Wild notes that "Wainwright has long been one of our most fearless troubadours. His art is fearless even though his songs are shot full of fear and fun, false pride, tortured insecurity and a lovely and graceful kind of self-deprecating genius. Whether he's being devastatingly funny, fully self-lacerating or just brutally confessional, Loudon Wainwright III has always been a writer who sharply expresses his own distinct point of view on our larger human comedy."


The New York-born Grammy-winning songwriter has traveled a remarkable path. Discovered by Atlantic's Nesuhi Ertegun and John Hammond, Sr., the Columbia A&R man who had already signed Bob Dylan and would soon sign Bruce Springsteen, Wainwright established his literary yet utterly unpretentious take on the grand folk music tradition right from the start. The son of Loudon Wainwright II, a prominent editor and columnist for Life magazine, Wainwright III studied acting at Carnegie Mellon University before dropping out to pursue a music career. After a short time performing at clubs in Boston and New York City, he signed his first record deal, in 1968. As Wainwright recalls, "I made the first two albums that were critical successes, but no one bought them, and Atlantic dropped me. So then Clive Davis signed me at Columbia with the understanding that I'd actually try and play with some other musicians too."

A year or two later Wainwright appeared, albeit fleetingly, as Captain Spaulding — "the singing surgeon" — on three episodes during the third season of the historic television series M*A*S*H. That was the opening salvo of an impressive second career for Wainwright — as an actor. He played a fantastically flawed father on the Fox TV series Undeclared, his first in a series of projects with famed comedy powerhouse Apatow. He has also appeared in such films as Jacknife28 DaysBig FishThe AviatorElizabethtown and Apatow's The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, in which Wainwright played an obstetrician and contributed some fantastic songs, including "Daughter" (written by Peter Blegvad) and "Grey In L.A."

40 Odd Years — which gathers together all of Loudon Wainwright III's best work — displays his unique approach to music making. Rather than write about global politics or simply sing shallow love songs, Wainwright has focused on writing about life's more domestic, and ultimately universal, aspects. He has written extensively about family and his children, three of whom – Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, and Lucy Wainwright Roche – are songwriters. Other themes include love, lust and the horrible and unkind things we do to one another in our personal lives.

Regardless of prevailing trends or commercial pressures, Wainwright has always continued to follow his beautiful, often heartbreaking muse, no matter what the consequences. This is why his music endures, 23 albums and 40 odd years later, and why Loudon remains a true American treasure to this day.

"I'm lucky — it still feels like there's work to do, and I'm doing it," says the 64-year-old singer-songwriter. "I hate the travel, the airports, the hotels, but I love the job itself, which is writing the songs and doing the shows. As a kid I had a dream of being a performer, and lo and behold it came true. Not only that but it turned out I was a writer, something I didn't necessarily want to become, probably because my old man seemed so tortured and miserable about his work. But I became one anyway. So now the plan is to keep performing and writing for as long as possible."

It's all enough to make you hope for another 40 Odd Years.

Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over.  Shout! Factory's DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company's audio catalogue boasts GRAMMY®-nominated boxed sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable "best of" compilations. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention.  With its fingers on the pulse of pop culture, Shout! Factory continues to impact the entertainment media landscape through acquisition of top quality programming for home entertainment releases. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit
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40 Odd Years Track Listing:

Disc One:                                                                       Disc Two:

1.       School Days                                                  1. Westchester County

2.       I Don't Care                                                 2. I'm Alright

3.       Uptown                                                        3. Screaming Issue

4.       Be Careful There's A Baby In The House     4. Unhappy Anniversary

5.       Saw Your Name In The Paper                        5. Your Mother And I

6.       Dead Skunk                                                  6. Synchronicity

7.       New Paint                                                    7. Hard Day On The Planet

8.       Drinking Song                                               8. You Don't Want To Know

9.       Swimming Song                                             9. Bill Of Goods

10.    Dilated To Meet You                                     10. Thanksgiving

11.    Down Drinking At The Bar                            11. Your Father's Car

12.    The Man Who Couldn't Cry                           12. When I'm At Your House

13.    Whatever Happened To Us?                          13. The Picture

14.    Crime Of Passion                                          14. Men

15.    Kick In The Head                                         15. So Many Songs

16.    Summer's Almost Over                                 16. Tip That Waitress

17.    Just Like President Thieu                               17. I'd Rather Be Lonely

18.    Golfin' Blues                                                 18. April Fool's Day Morn

19.    The Heckler                                                  19. The Acid Song

20.    Natural Disaster                                            20. IWIWAL

21.    Red Guitar                                                    21. A Year

22.    Hollywood Hopeful                         22. Dreaming


24.    The Grammy Song


Disc Three:                                                                     Disc Four (Rare and Unreleased):

1.       So Damn Happy                                              1. Weave Room Blues (with Kate McGarrigle)

2.       Primrose Hill                                                   2. McSorley's

3.       Bein' A Dad                                                    3. Black Uncle Remus (demo with band)

4.       Four Mirrors                                                    4. Funny Having Money

5.       It's Love And I Hate It                                    5. The Hardy Boys At The Y (with The Boys Of The Lough)

6.       Christmas Morning                                          6. Laid                                                                                    

7.       Pretty Good Day                                              7. Outsidey

8.       White Winos                                                    8. Somethin' Stupid (with Barry Humpries)

9.       Bed                                                                   9. The Miles

10.    Surviving Twin                                                10. So Good So Far (live from The Bottom Line)

11.    The Shit Song                                                  11. Big Fish

12.    Between                                                           12. No Sure Way

13.    My Biggest Fan                                               13. Hey There Second Grader

14.    When You Leave                                             14. More I Cannot Wish You

15.    Make Your Mother Mad                                  15. Florida (Lucky You)

16.    Daughter                                                          16. Hank & Fred (live at KGSR, Austin, TX, Dec. 5, 2003)

17.    Grey In L.A.                                                     17. Your Eyes

18.    Muse Blues                                                       18. Dead Man

19.    Motel Blues                                                      19. At The End Of A Long Lonely Day (with Suzzy Roche)

20.    The Deal

21.    Rowena

22.    High Wide & Handsome








Disc Five - DVD:


One Man Guy

1993 Dutch television documentary


BBC4 Sessions: Loudon Wainwright: One Man Guy

Filmed at Bush Hall, London, on May 2, 2005

"One Man Guy"


"When You Leave"

"Half Fist"


Loudon Wainwright III at The BBC

Aired on September 23, 2005


               "Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms"

               "Unrequited To The Nth Degree"

               "Dump The Dog And Feed The Garbage"

               "Glad To See You've Got Religion"

               "Motel Blues"

               "Rufus Is A Tit Man"

"Cardboard Boxes"


               "Hitting You"

               "Career Moves"


Dead Man

Filmed on May 24, 2010; recording session documentary                                     


Entertainment Desk

Aired on Canadian television in 1995

"The End Has Begun" with Martha Wainwright                                                        


High Wide & Handsome – The Charlie Poole Project

Filmed in 2009 for documentary on making of album

"My Mother And My Sweetheart" with Rufus Wainwright


The Basement

Filmed in Sydney, Australia in 2008

"Needless To Say" with Lucy Wainwright Roche


Austin City Limits

"Lullaby" (January 13, 1988)

"Living Alone" (February 16, 1999)

"Homeless" (February 16, 1999)

"Tonya's Twirls" (February 16, 1999)

"OGM" (February 16, 1999)


Saturday Night Live

Aired on NBC on November 15, 1975


"Unrequited To The Nth Degree"                                                               


The Garfield House

Filmed on May 24, 2010

"New Paint" with Joe Henry & Greg Leisz

"Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder" with Joe Henry & Greg Leisz

"Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms" with Christopher Guest

"June Apple" with Christopher Guest

"Unhappy Anniversary" with Christopher Guest

"Kings And Queens" with George Gerdes


826LA Benefit

Filmed on January 16, 2007

"Grey In L.A."



PBS Soundstage

Aired on February 2, 1977

"Kick In The Head"


McCabe's Guitar Shop

Filmed on February 3, 2007

"Passion Play"


The Mike Douglas Show

Aired on April 25, 1978

Interview and "Fear With Flying"



Aired on ABC on June 22, 2005

"A Father And A Son"


Carrott Confidential

Aired on BBC on February 14, 1987



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